My Analogy

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by Hot Georgia, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Hot Georgia

    Hot Georgia Well-Known Member

    Since I've gotten quite a few compliments on this thought I'd post it here:

    My Analogy:

    Living in a subdivision, the house next door is identical to yours.
    A new neighbor moves in.
    You notice a few things about their odd behavior.

    The first thing is all the lights are left on 24 hrs. He plants two 5K watt spotlights illuminating the front, another in his back yard but places a large container over it to stop the beam. You notice the light escaping from the bottom edge.
    How strange, especially with the looming electricity shortage.

    Your neighbor is a friendly one and invites you over.
    You notice it's freezing cold inside for AC units in every room.
    Faucets are left running, flowing down the drain.

    He complains about the rising utility cost.

    "This good sense home is costing me a fortune. I keep the lights on because they look nice and I don't want to look cheap. I know we have zero crime but lights are a deterrent.
    Besides, I'm doing my reasonable part to conserve.
    I keep a heater running in two of the air conditioned rooms to raise the temperature to 78.
    I also keep the light in the back covered to hold the energy in.
    I'm doing the all I can." He says.

    We can agree the neighbor isn't making sense.
    I continue:

    A year later I moved to another location.
    The first night I couldn't sleep for all the light.
    Almost everyone had spotlights and house lights burning all night. Some had 6 10K watt lights in their front yard shining like great pillars into the sky. Larger. More powerful than the others.
    Perplexed, I noticed only one dim spot in the whole city. My own house.
    One day the neighbor invited me over to visit.

    They doubted changing habits would save much, and they needed the lights on for one reason or another.
    Besides, they felt it necessary to "Run with the pack, do the normal thing".

    Going home and refusing to follow their error, you found more ways to save. You spend a little more on fluorescents, turned off appliances etc.
    You compared notes with other people who lived just fine in the few dimmer houses.
    YOUR energy bills went down substantially.

    Next month the electricity cost rose and people began to complain more loudly.
    To your dismay, more of those lights began to be covered.
    Your neighbor complains he has already doing all he can but haven't seen much savings.
    He can't understand why you continue to keep your house dim.
    They think it's the house that's saving you money.
    Some consider you "Extreme".

    I explain that this parallels habits and attitude toward automobiles and fuel, and using the heaters and light covers represent an untrained driver.

    Anything to add?
  2. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    A good laugh every time I see this. LMAO!!!!!
  3. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    Hmmmm. That post looks familiar.
  4. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    Same here. I am 100% compact flourescent. My electricity bills have never been lower, despite the heat. The compact flourescents also burn very cool so there is less AC load.
  5. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Great analogy Steve

    The sad issue is, very few people today get the picture. When you talk FE, the majority think your strange. It's getting to the point that a group like this forms so we can find someone with the same interest to learn with.

    Example is, a friend of the family comes over to brag about jacking up his 2WD Ranger, putting on monster tires and rims and low gears. He and I have little to talk about at this point! Now that he has spent all his money on so called improvements, he's complaining about gas prices!

  6. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I really like the analogy! Thing is, it's not too hard to imagine that actually happening. I'm sure it does.

    You guys put me and my inefficient apartment to shame. I really ought to go buy a few of these CFLs to try out.
  7. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    If you guys saw my room with all the power it is consuming you would loose all respect you have for me. Some day I am going to put an effort in to lower my consumption drasticaly.
  8. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    An excerpt from the "green driving for buttheads" document I'm
    still trying to work on...
    _ If you went through life like it was an athletic game -- running,
    _ stopping, darting, dodging all the time -- you'd get TIRED! You know
    _ that moving your own weight like that takes a lot of energy and
    _ gatorade, so you don't do it all the time. Now consider that your
    _ car weighs twenty times what you do, and if you force it to
    _ operate in a similar "athletic" manner all the time, it IS going
    _ to drink much more fuel on the way from here to there. Unless
    _ you're actually in a competitive event, isn't it better to put
    _ that extra money into your pocket instead of offshore weapons
    _ budgets?
    Is this along the same lines?
  9. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    i can't believe people treat electricity that way! well... my folks do... but i try what i can to turn anything off.

    i can't undo everyone's mistakes... my family claims 20 bucks a day on fuel is normal when you make 80 a day... chirst... how about I spend 1.74 a day and make enough to pay my gas bill for the whole month considering it took me over 25 days (yes driving everyday) to drain a gas tank!

    its normal to use gas, just use it... i'm sure that's their mentally. They laugh when they see me saving gas... laugh as in , "WHAT A FOOL!".
  10. HyChi

    HyChi Well-Known Member

    Steve, I really enjoyed reading your analogy, Hobbit's too! I think it really brings things into perspective for people who just don't get it. Speaking of compact fluorescents... do you guys have any recommendations? I understand that the newer ones come on more quickly and have a better light frequency. I'm planning on making the switch, but want to choose wisely. Thanks, in advance.
  11. zadscmc

    zadscmc Member

    Hmm. Hyperwatting. I love it.

    Now, I gotta get the wife to follow along.
  12. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Then see My Air Conditioner Sucks :eek:
  13. XerEagle

    XerEagle Member

    I use CF Lighting in some but not in all places at this time.

    Some useful information about CF Lighting at the following web sites:
  14. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    All of mine have the delay before lighting up but after about two days, it stopped bothering me. I got 20 of the 23W (100W equivalent) and 28 of the 13W(60W equivalent) for $74 shipped off of ebay. That was enough to convert my whole home with many bulbs to spare. My outside lantern bulb used to burn out regular bulbs about one per month. It has been about a year now and my 13W CFL is still ticking. In fact, none of the CFL's have died yet.
  15. Hot Georgia

    Hot Georgia Well-Known Member

    We have 3 kids in the family and SO hard to keep their energy usage in check.
    I'm tempted to put a timer on the wall for our youngest!

    Almost all of our lights are CFL's, but the bases keep burning out at the base. You can hear it arching then later it quits. Our incandescents last mulitple times longer in our experience.
    They come with a warranty but up until recent we've tossed the original package. The last ones we bought have kept it to send them back when they burn out.
    I think the warranty is 5 years based on 8hr usage per day. We use them much less than 8hrs/day and go bad within 1-3 months to 2 years.

    We have a flagpole in our front yard and keep a flood on it at night.
    Earlier this week my wife bought come CFL floodlights so I replaced the incandescent.
    The CFL appears to be a sealed beam with all the lenses on the front but has no focus. :(
    The idea of the light is for the flag which kinda defeats its purpose.
    It just lights the entire area so I'll probably put the incandescent back in. :(

    I hope they improve over the next few years.
  16. lakedude

    lakedude Well-Known Member

    I just punched in the numbers at the "Truth" website and in spite of being a hybrid owning hypermiler with 100% CF the website says I'm way above average in the pollution department. This is mostly due to a fairly high electric bill, plus lots of gas use in the boat and truck.

    I've decided to be more pro-active and purchased a window air unit for the bedroom. Now the rest of the house can be kept warmer to save electricity. The bedroom will be kept cooler (in summer) so I can sleep.

    When winter comes I'll get a space heater for the bedroom and keep the majority of the house cooler to save energy.

    After installing a new "Energy Star" rear door I'm hoping to cut my electric bill in half.
  17. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    I bought four 1500W space heaters last fall for $15 each. I had one in each of the bedrooms and one in the fazmily room. I had the house thermostat at 65F during the day and 60F at night while we used the space heaters to keep the bedrooms and family room warmer as needed. Since we changed to CFL's at the same time, the additional energy used by the space heaters was offset by the savings from the CFL's. No net change in the electric bill. My gas bill went down in spite of the 50% rate increase that went into effect in September. So I spent $134 on CFL's and space heaters and actually saved more than that on the gas bill, in spite of the rate increase.:D

    The challenge that I have had this summer is keeping the front door closed.:mad: The thermostat is set at a constant 74F. I wouldn't mind it at 76F but my wife has drawn a line in the sand at 74F. I dare not cross it.:p
  18. lakedude

    lakedude Well-Known Member

    The window unit is set to 70 but the rest of the house is set for the low 80ies. The upstairs gets uncomfortable but the basement still feels ok. The central air barely runs now. I'd been keeping the whole house at around 72 so this should be a huge savings.

    Moved a computer with a All in Wonder video card into the bedroom for internet and TV. The bedroom is my new home till it cools off....

    Side note:

    The window unit is really "cool". For only $98 it has a real digital thermostat, a remote control, 2 fan speeds and 4 modes of operation. An install kit was included as well. I use the "cool" option at night which runs the fan all the time. During the day I switch it over to econ. In econ mode the fan comes on slow for 10 seconds every 2 minutes. If the is senses that the temp has gone up it kicks on the compresser and bumps the fans speed to high until the room is cool again. Pretty darn nice for $98! I figure it will pay for itself in 2 months (this cooling season).
  19. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Do you have a model number?
  20. lakedude

    lakedude Well-Known Member

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